The Lost Light
City-States in Khalin
City-states are heavily fortified cities which include one teleportation circle. They are the last bastions of civilization on Khalin. Outside of the city-states, chaos abounds, but inside people live with a modicum of civility and safety.
Most inhabitants of a city-state were born there, as were their ancestors. Outsiders to city-states, those born in the wild or in one of the small villages or citadels, will not be allowed entrance to a city-state until they obtain a Gate Pass. Gate Passes are given to non-naturalized persons by those in power. There are two types of Gate Passes: temporary, which give the person entrance into a city for up to one month, and permanent, which grant passage indefinitely. Permanent Gate Passes are usually given only to individuals who wish to gain citizenship to a city. Naturalized citizens have permanent passes, though these passes act as temporary in other city-states. For example, a dragonborn who was born in Askar will have a permanent gate pass for Askar. If that dragonborn travels to Reled, their pass will be considered temporary, unless they wish to transfer their citizenship to Reled.
Extenuating circumstances will allow for temporary gate passes longer than one month, usually by a renewal method used for persons who wish to work or learn within a certain city-state. The Diamond Tower of Paradisia is a good example: most wizard students study there for a minimum of one year, and thus their temporary passes are extended for that study year, usually by Archmage Talvert. Rulers of city-states are allowed to adjust a temporary pass, or create a special rule for a pass as they see fit.
Government: Monarchy, ruled by a dragonborn king.
Formerly a dwarven stronghold called Duran-Karng, Askar is a fortress embedded in the side of Mount Khaltark, the tallest mountain on Abaerd. The dragonborn made it their home shortly after the Rise of the Lich Kings; first aiding the decimated dwarven clans from the horde of undead who had broken through their underground forces via the Underdark, and then betraying those same dwarves by kicking them out of their own city. Over the next few decades, the dragonborn walled off the Underdark entrance and created a formidable army to protect their new city. When the Treaty of Paradisia was signed, Askar proclaimed itself a kingdom and has ruled with a monarch ever since.
Government: Aristrocracy, ruled by a cadre of tieflings.
Beregin began as a mining town in the Third Age, built against the Tusav River to use the current to bring flat-bottomed ships loaded with ore to Lake Beregin, where they would then be divvied up among the various lakeside towns. It also served as a complement to the logging town Azotar, located farther downstream. Beregin was run by tieflings even back then, and the populace was unaware that, beneath the city, a series of secret dungeons and tunnels revealed the teleportation circle that would serve as the city’s saving grace. When the Lich Kings attacked, the tieflings were quick to defend this sleepy little town, and in doing so, effectively took the town as their own. Since then, Beregin has been run by three tiefling houses: Patoire, Heretan, and Ironhammer. They rule by bickering with each other.
Government: Oligarchy, ruled by a group of chosen humans.
Government: Democracy, ruled by an appointed triumvirate council – one human, one elf, one dwarf.
Government: Monarchy, ruled by a dragonborn king and queen.
Government: Dictatorship, ruled by a dragonborn female.
Government: Meritocracy, ruled by those humans who work the hardest.
Estimated population outside city-states: 50,000, half of that being the population of citadels and villages.